Fusing two key concerns of contemporary sociology: globalization and its discontents, and the 'complexity turn' in social theory, authors Chesters and Welsh utilize complexity theory to analyze the shifting constellation of social movement networks that constitute opposition to neo-liberal globalization. They explore how seemingly chaotic and highly differentiated social actors interacting globally through computer mediated communications, face-to-face gatherings and protests constitute a 'multitude' not easily grasped through established models of social and political change. Drawing upon extensive empirical research and utilizing concepts drawn from the natural and social sciences this book suggests a framework for understanding mobilization, identity formation and information flows in global social movements operating within complex societies. It suggests that this 'movement of movements' exhibits an emergent order on the edge of chaos, a turbulence that is recasting political agency in the twenty-first century.
Author: Fang Deng
Release Date: 2014-03-18
Genre: Business & Economics
Why did the 1989 Chinese student movement end in violent confrontation at Tiananmen Square, despite the fact that both the Chinese government and the students very much wanted to avoid violence? This puzzle, which lies at the heart of the tragic events at Tiananmen, is addressed here from a fresh perspective that sheds new insight into these dramatic events. Throughout Unintended Outcomes in Social Movements, Deng applies the formal methods of game theory to elucidate some of the contingent, strategic decision-making by both sides in a social-movement/state confrontation, and how those decisions can – and did - lead to an unintended outcome. In identifying the necessary cause of the Tiananmen tragedy, namely a newly created social system with four highly specific properties, this book provides the first adequate explanation of the Tiananmen events. Because of this, it stands to make a significant stride toward convincing students of political conflict of the explanatory power of formal game-theoretic models. This book is an excellent source of reference for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in areas including Chinese politics, social movements, game theory economics, and social theory.
Author: John Smith
Release Date: 2006-02-01
Offering a critique of the humanist paradigm in contemporary social theory, Qualitative Complexity is the first comprehensive sociological analysis of complexity theory. Drawing from sources in sociology, philosophy, complexity theory, 'fuzzy logic', systems theory, cognitive science and evolutionary biology, John Smith and Chris Jenks present a new series of interdisciplinary perspectives on the sociology of complex, self-organizing structures.
Social Movements: The Key Concepts provides an insightful, contemporary introduction to some of the frequently encountered terms and groups that are central to the study of collective action and social and political activism. Following an A-Z format, the entries defined and discussed are drawn from the following areas: the ‘old’ social movements of the nineteenth century the ‘new’ social movements of the 1960s and 1970s the rise of contemporary ‘network’ movements. Key American, European and global social movements are addressed, with each entry related to contemporary developments and emergent tendencies within the field. Including helpful references for further study, this concise and up-to-date guide is of relevance for those studying a range of disciplines, including sociology, politics, cultural studies and human geography.